Investigators believe Mario Vasquez was beaten in a home on First Street in Refugio before he was driven to Highway 239, dumped into a ditch and left for dead, according to Sheriff Robert Bolcik.
Passing motorists found the injured man with his jeans pulled down around his ankles, a sign the gang member may have disrespected someone, Bolcik said.
Vasquez sustained serious brain injuries that investigators suspect was at the hands of the Mexican Mafia, also known as La Eme.
“Evidence shows that the beating may have stemmed from an incident that happened while Vasquez was in prison in 2007,” Bolcik said.
During his incarceration, Vasquez received a sexual conduct reprimand, according to Lt. Martin DeLeon, who heads up the investigation.
“Sexual misconduct in prison is against the Mexican Mafia’s code of ethics,” DeLeon said.
The investigator believes the gang members were biding their time to punish Vasquez, who is also believed to be a member. The victim was released from prison on April 15.
“He is severely brain damaged and not able to fully comprehend what happened to him,” Bolcik said.
The sheriff said leads from Crime Stoppers in Victoria have assisted investigators. The department is following up on each one. Bolcik expects several arrests will be made soon.
“We know a number of people were involved in the beating, some from Refugio, others from Victoria,” DeLeon said.
Several Mexican Mafia members reside in Refugio, according to the sheriff.
The sheriff said the department is going after every person involved in the crime.